What to Learn from the Mistakes of the Worst Websites of the Year

March 9th, 2017

UI/UX / Web / Outsourcing // Grossum Possum

Don't do this to your website

While there are things you should do for your website (and we wrote about those as well), there are also things you should avoid like the plague. Here are 9 things NOT to do when creating a website. 

Don't Underestimate Cleanness of Design

The importance of an easy-to-navigate website cannot be underestimated. If your customers come to your website and get lost in navigation due to too many junk links that are not necessary... well, your customer is lost to you as well.

Also, imagine a headache for you to keep all those links up to date.

 

Space is Okay

We understand the desire to tell your prospect as much information as they can handle... but keep in mind that they can handle less information than you want to pack into their minds right away.

Besides, when all space is crammed with stuff, finding needed information becomes a quest. Let your website (and customer) breathe.

We realize that the temptation to "just add another banner to the front page" is tempting, but resist that devil. We believe in you!

(Let me breathe! This website looks more like those posters you can stare at for hours and keep finding new things depicted. This would work if your website is a "Where's Waldo" type of thing. Otherwise... no.)

Don't Forget about Smaller Screens

More and more people are switching to their smartphones for web browsing - make sure your website is adaptable for the various screen resolutions and is mobile-friendly. Google actually made mobile-friendliness a requirement for good rating of the website. 

Not sure whether your website is currently mobile friendly? It's easy to check!

(This is a horizontal view from an iPhone. The vertical view is even worse. Imagine trying to tap on one of those menu items - even toddler's fingers would be too fat for that.)

Irrelevant Content

Every day, we get spammed with e-mails like "Make your website profitable" or "Get your website to work for you." Those external ads might be a tempting deal, yet, unless you really-really have to do it, don't.

Same applies to videos on autoplay, music the visitor can't turn off, and too many links to every article on Wikipedia or something.

(This website is the epitome of irrelevant content. There's even a chicken taking a stroll...)

Questions, questions, questions

Your contact form should be simple and only contain questions you need for further cooperation.

Do you really need to know your client's favorite color and the date when he met his wife for the first time? If you do, then send him a questionnaire sometime later.

(Do I really need to leave my phone number? Can it be optional?)

Think "Client First"

Don't underestimate the power of strong SEO. When defining your keywords, try to think as a customer (you've already defined who your target audience is, right?) and ask the questions they would ask.

If you need help with this, just think of your friends who might be your potential customers or fall into your target audience range and ask them. There are things that are important to the customer that you might not even realize. 

(Just for laughs, come visit the most amazing website on the internet. We dare you.)

Don't Use Low-Resolution Images

Especially in the modern age, with retina screens being implemented on all kinds of mobile (and not-so-mobile) devices, it is incredibly important to use good quality images.

According to the data from StatCounter, 1366×768 screens are the most popular this year and many devices offer an even bigger screen. So when the prospect comes to visit your website and sees an 8-bit image, unless you're a Minecraft website, it's not a good thing.

(That man slipping in the bathtub... We don't even want to say anything about it, it's self-explanatory...)

Don't Gate All Your Content

Gated content is the content the prospect will get if s/he performs some action (for example, leaves his / her e-mail). While this is a great tool to build your database, don't gate all your content - leave something as a teaser, so the potential customer will get a taste of what's behind the wall of e-mail.

While it's not a requirement, but still - be nice to your users and provide value-added material in case they do leave their contact information.

Let's develop a great product together!

Author: Grossum Possum

Grossum Possum. He loves using Symfony2 for his projects and learning to implement Symfony3. He also likes developing web and mobile applications using other programming languages and frameworks, such as PHP and Java. In his free time, Grossum Possum likes to write about his experiences in the blog.

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